A humanist celebrant from Rustington has been named the best in the country at the 2020 Wedding Industry Awards.
Jane Blackman was crowned national celebrant of the year, having won the south east regional title in November.
A former head teacher, Jane has been creating and leading personalised ceremonies in West Sussex and across the south east since 2014.
The awards finals were held at Café de Paris in London on January 15 and winners were chosen based on couples’ votes and feedback, with judging by wedding industry experts.
Jane said: “I feel incredibly proud. This is a very special accolade and I could not be more thrilled to receive it.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling to be recognised for this particular award, as it relies totally on real couples taking the time and trouble to vote and give detailed feedback about their experience of working with me – and having me there as their wedding celebrant on one of the most important days of their lives.
“Being a celebrant is a huge responsibility. There are no second chances in this role. Getting a ceremony just right and delivering it perfectly on the big day is a substantial challenge, which can feel a bit daunting at times. But I’ve always been someone who loves a challenge, who rises to it and always wants to do the very best I can.
“I’m fascinated by people and their stories, so having the privilege of learning and then weaving a couple’s love story through a unique ceremony, crafted and written by me, just for them, and then conducting it on their big day, is the most amazing honour.
“Knowing that couples are delighted with their ceremonies and that their experience was just right for them, kicking their celebrations off in the best possible way on their wedding day, is an extremely rewarding feeling.
“Winning this award I think demonstrates the high quality of service I always aim to provide to my clients and the depth of personalisation and connection I bring to each couple’s celebration. Every couple is unique and so their wedding ceremony should reflect that individuality.
“To be recognised as Celebrant of the Year 2020 for doing a job I wholeheartedly love really is the icing on the cake – and I’m still getting over such an incredible surprise.”